Gabrielle Roth tells the story of a Rabbi’s son who asked his father as he lay dying what he would most miss once he had passed on. The son was expectng his father to refer to his religion or family in his answer. He was shocked when his father said two words; “my body”
What concerns me most about our collective obsession with screens is that it sends our bodies into stasis. As I see us (and I’m writing to myself too), we are trying so very hard to be good human beings; earning our keep and keeping up with connetions, that we’ve forgotten the blessing and wonder of the most fundamental specification that comes with being human on planet earth; being in a body.
There are one septillion things going on in my body in every moment (and yours too). There is an amazing collaborative effort on the part of my organs, bones, muscles, nerves, not to mention the multiple colonies of bacteria, just so that I can sit still, breath, reflect, digest and move my fingers and wrists to write to you! Needless to say that this collaboration is happening without me thinking about it at all. And yet in popular thinking, its a radical thing to call this incredible orchestration intelligent. What’s more; those collaborations are just on my inside. The exterior system, commonly called nature, is another mammoth collaborative effort on the part of forests, mountains, rivers, oceans, insects, fungi (and on and on) that we clearly don’t think about in order for it all to work. And yet it is still radical in schools to teach that nature, like our bodies, is intelligent.
I suggest that the definition of intelligence is in serious need of updating. The darkest effect of our effort to make technology more ‘intelligent’ is to lead us further and further from awareness of and relationship with the Intelligence that IS US and the world we live within. I appreciate that our gadgets are ever more stroke-able, our apps ever more…applicable yet can the production of pocket technology really be called intelligent when it requires a vast hole to be dug into the Earth and rare non-renewable minerals to be extracted and idly trashed and at great cost to human, animal and plant life? I think not. Perhaps our time and curiosity would be better directed to the large portion of our brains that are as yet ‘unmined’ – I suggest that our brains functioning at full capacity will make technology as we know it obsolete.
As I see it we cannot avoid the Great Turning…ON. An increasing number of us are nurturing a genuine two way relationship with the natural intelligence we stand up in and which communicates through our intuition, body, feelings, inspired thoughts, and connective actions. This is no small thing. The shift in perspective is gaining ground. I vision a bright future for education. I see the tables turning in our schools as we adjust our perspective to create education as it MUST be if we are to thrive and expand into our capacity as sentient beings with a universal perspective.
I see an evolving acknowledgement of the field’s intelligence moving through us. For example, Rupert Sheldrake’s theories discussed among 17 year olds. Their curiosity will dissolve taboos around acknowledging and augmenting our natural extra sensory abilities- seen not as special talents of few but the consequence of evolution. Their perception will be the shift in paradigm from separation to connection. Emerging adults will lead education towards its most enlightened expression. It’ll be their own desire to learn in certain directions and forms and their resistance and lack of interest in others that will inform the curriculum. Slowly activities will dominate in which feeling, sensing and intuiting will be called forth as much as thinking. The background against which learning happens is not defined by a curriculum but by curiosity. The future, the ones who come after us, will lead education organically forward. From within them it is already emerging, naturally updated. The best we can do as their mentors is to ask for and listen to their own inner knowing.
What a privilege.